Insider: Williams finds his groove south of the border

Laury Livsey/PGA TOUR
Lee Williams is coming off his first career Nationwide Tour victory at the Mexico Open presented by Banamex.
June 20, 2012
John Dell, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

Lee Williams isn't surprised there have been so many different winners this year on the Nationwide Tour.


In fact, Williams became the 11th different winner when he took home the victory at the Mexico Open presented by Banamex earlier this month. In just his third season on the Nationwide Tour -- where he's made 35 starts in his career -- the 30-year-old finally found the right touch.

"No, I'm not surprised it's been that way," Williams said about the different winners. "There are so many good players out there and so many good players on the mini-tours and it wouldn't surprise me if somebody Monday-qualified into a tournament and won. That's how good everybody is out there."

Williams proved he's also very good by firing rounds of 69-67-68-70 to win at 14 under.

Now that he has a victory that moved him up from 39th to fifth on the money list, Williams isn't about to change. Even though he had his best payday of his career since turning pro in 2005 after a good amateur -- he made the Walker Cup team twice -- the even-keeled Williams will press on.

"No, nothing has changed," Williams said about picking up a victory. "I'm still the same and I guess it just made me realize how many good friends and supporters I have."

If there was anything that surprised Williams it was the amount of support he received after the victory. He lost count of the number of voicemails he received and he also had around 85 text messages.

It took awhile for Williams to find solid footing in his career, but he says the process is all about staying patient. He never had to worry about finding other work during his early struggles on the mini-tours and that's something a lot of other players can't say.

"I've been real fortunate to where I did well enough on the mini-tours to where I could keep playing the next year and the support of my sponsors has been great," Williams said. "I've got a great group of sponsors who have been with me a long time and they've been good to me."

He also acknowledged that working with his swing coaches, Scott Hamilton and Layne Savoie, has been a big part of his success.

"They have really been a big help to me," said Williams, who last season played on the NGA Tour where he finished fourth on the money list.

One of the differences Williams has in his game is his iron play. It's something he's worked very hard at and it allowed him to swing freely. The tournament before the Mexico Open, Williams was feeling good and wound up tying for 10th at The Rex Hospital Open.

Then at the Mexico Open, his putting was solid and his iron play was as good as ever.

"I hit my irons really well all week and I had a good plan for the golf course," Williams said. "I putted pretty solid but the biggest thing was my iron play."

While Williams hasn't had a lot of experience on the Nationwide Tour, he said making the most of the birdie opportunities is important.

Inside THE 25
Player Money Wins
1. Paul Haley II $229,834 1
2. Luke List $223,848 1
3. Andres Gonzales $197,845 1
4. Andrew Svoboda $173,242 0
5. Lee Williams $158,395 1
25. Alistair Presnell $76,229 0